Wednesday, March 26

Rome Marathon 2014

We woke up early on the morning of the Marathon. I lay dozily under the covers while Annika rubbed muscle warming gel into her legs...I shuddered at the thought of what she was about to do..
Running 42 kilometres with 19,000 other people on a Sunday morning...sheer madness, but I was secretly very impressed!
She headed off the the start of the race at the Colosseum and I set out to walk across town to the half-marathon point in Prati where I would hopefully spot her running past.

But it wasn't that easy. Of course all the roads were closed, but not just closed to traffic. Overnight barriers had been set up all around town and it was impossible to even cross the street. I immediately got lost.
I also realised that I would never make it across to Prati in time. In fact as I was hopelessly wandering around trying to figure out how I had already managed to lose my marathon map, the first runners shot past in such a blur that I almost missed them..
After a brief stop off at a friends house to figure out a new plan, I headed over to the river, but it looked like I was too late. (Don't worry, there was a huge clean up operation going on behind me.)
Eventually I headed over to Piazza Navona just in time to see the river of runners flow past. The looks of pain and suffering on so many of those faces is something I'll never forget...Everyone was soaking wet, it had been raining most of the morning and this was about 36kms into the race.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find one person in a river of 19000? I stood there for an hour, trying to scan every person that ran past, never sure if I had missed her of not. Just as I was almost sure that I hadn't seen her, there she was, running away and still looking amazing!
She was still smiling! I scooted under the barrier and ran with her so she didn't lose any time..Pathetically, after about 500 metres I got a stitch and had to stop. 'Go go go!! I'll meet you at the finish line!"
 I am not proud of my measly 500 metres, I'll have you know I used to be a champion cross country runner back in the days, but now let's just say I'm pretty good on a mountain.

Anyway, miraculously I found my way to the finish line where music was pumping and everyone was cheering. It was amazing to see the relief and happiness on the runners faces as they all passed the line.
And even more special to see my friend appear, running so proudly, passing the line, collecting her medal and brandishing it with a huge grin.
About a minute later the heavens opened and everyone ran to find shelter. If you ever want to amuse yourself at the expense of other I highly recommend passing some time on the steps of a Metro station, near the finish line of a Marathon on race day. Let's just say walking down stairs after a 42km run, is not an easy task...
So there we go, Annika ran the marathon and finished it an hour earlier than she thought she would. I'm very proud and very impressed by her stamina and wish I could say I'd join her again next year, but I don't think that's going to happen somehow unless they invent a walking up steps marathon, which I'd have no problem with.
What type of marathon would you be good at? (!)

6 comments:

  1. A reading marathon or a television series watching marathon, my athletic days are behind me unforturnately.

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  2. Congratulations Annika so proud of you!!! You are amazing!!!

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  3. I feel your pain! Finding a marathoner in a course requires hours of scouring maps and figuring how to see them several times while they race. My daughter has done about 7 of these and several half marathons. I admire all who do it and all who try to follow them.

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  4. A carrying-child-while-chasing-child marathon. OR maybe an on-conference-call-while-chasing-child-in-pajama-pants marathon. I would never look as fresh-faced as Annika though!

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  5. I don't think I would be any good at any marathon / A huge well done to Annika , an amazing performance and wow , 1 hour knocked off her time, she must of been flying . x And yes she did look fresh Faced still.

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  6. Congratulations to Annika! Having asthma as a child, I was never much of an athlete. Now, with more serious lung problems I don't stray too far from home. So, I guess my marathon is reading!! Loved you pictures.

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